Darwin and Racism

The following appeared in a letter to the editor of Sunstone (Dec 2010):

In an August episode, (Glenn) Beck taught that Charles Darwin is the father of modern racism and the Holocaust.  As evidence, Beck cited several of Darwin’s statements about the physical and intellectual differences between the white man and the “savages or people of color.”  Beck suggested that the theory of natural selection justifies racism because Darwin produced a handful of statements that, in retrospect, seem racist.  Beck ignores Darwin’s abolitionist sentiments as so well documented in ‘Darwin’s Sacred Cause:  How a Hatred of Slavery Shaped Darwin’s Views on Human Evolution’ by Adrian Desmond & James Moore.  While abourd the Beagle, Darwin wrote to his sister, “I have watched how steadily the general feeling, as shown at elections, has been rising against Slavery.  What a proud thing for England, if she is the first European nation which utterly abolish(es) it.”  Jonathon Marshall, Ogden, Utah

This entry was posted in Creation, Social Justice, transhumanism. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Darwin and Racism

  1. dorothy deasy says:

    We, people of the scientific age, search for certainty and explanations. We borrow from science an idea, a concept, a phrase as if the veil of science adds credence.
    So it is that natural selection has been abused and misused from the beginning. Darwin may not have been a racist, but his insights were used to fuel discrimination. Darwins observations were used, are still being used, to apply a “survival of the fittest” ethic into a social context.
    What is overlooked is that the definitions of “fittest” is subjective and not universal. What is “most fit” for a person in grief? What is “most fit” for inspiring love of neighbor? What is “most fit” for curing disease? What is “most fit” for birthing peace?
    The genetic evidence is that there are no differences based on race, yet genetics data are misapplied and abused.
    As we get further and further into a transhuman future, the application of a narrow definition of “fittest” will strip us of our humainty. We must learn to embrace the complexities merit.

  2. Aaron says:

    Typical Beck. The scary thing is that people listen to him, although, to be fair, his numbers do seem to be dropping.

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